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Trash Can Fire Spread to East Village Coach House, Witness Says

By Alisa Hauser | May 13, 2013 11:30am
 No injuries were reported from a fire that a witness said started in a garbage can and quickly spread to the back of a coach house in the 900 block of North Wolcott Avenue in East Village around 6:45 p.m. Sunday.
East Village Garbage Can Fire Spreads
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EAST VILLAGE —  No injuries were reported from a Sunday evening fire that a witness said began in a trash can and quickly spread to the back of a coach house in the 900 block of North Wolcott Avenue in East Village.

The owner of the coach house said Monday that she is "relieved and thankful" everyone is safe and firefighters responded promptly to the blaze.

According to the homeowner — who wished not to be named — the family includes two teenage boys, two dogs, a cat, a bird and lizard.

No family member was displaced by the fire.

The woman said her family was home  when the fire which began around 6:45 p.m. Sunday and was quickly put out by the Chicago Fire Department.

Libby Erickson, 30, a physician, lives two doors north of where the fire took place and said she was sitting on her back porch eating dinner with her roommate when they noticed a trash can in the alley had caught fire.

"It was shocking how fast the fire went from the garbage can to the back of the house," Erickson said.

Erickson said she called 911 and that firefighters arrived "within minutes" to extinguish the blaze.

Erickson said she and her roommate did not notice any suspicious people near the garbage can, which had been removed by firefighters. 

Erickson speculated that "the only thing we could think of is that maybe someone put a lit cigarette in there."

Caitlin Dioro, 25, an office manager, lives one door north of the coach house and has a parking space next to the garbage can that caught fire.

"I'm lucky my car wasn't parked there. It could have exploded. Thank God the firefighters got here so fast," Dioro said.

Photos on the East Village Neighborhood Association's Facebook Page captured firefighters putting out the blaze.

Larry Langford, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said that the "fire was put out quickly" and it was "not much of a fire."

Langford added that there was "nothing remarkable" about the fire and that it appears to have been accidental.